Richard (Dick) Lyle Brewer, 79, of Acton, Massachusetts passed away on February 15, 2020 after an illness and declining health. Dick grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and was born to Clifford Lyle Brewer and Gladys Mae (ne. Aldrich) Brewer. Dick is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carolyn Ann Brewer of Acton, brother Frederick Brewer (wife Sallie), of Butte, MT, daughter Jennifer DeFrancesco (husband Dean), of Lunenburg, MA and their two children Jillian (18) and Tyler (15), son Christopher Brewer (wife Elizabeth), of Acton, MA and their two children Abigail (13) and Kaitlin (10), and daughter Heather Castro, of Lunenburg, MA and her son Ryan (13).
Dick was a dedicated reader of science fiction, a clarinet player in his HS band, a member of the National Honor Society, and Valedictorian of his HS graduation class of 1958. As a young teen, Dick became an amateur (ham) radio operator. His ham operator call letters (K9EEX) were familiar around the world. It became a point of pride for him when he would receive confirmation contact in the wee hours of the night with a fellow ham in Australia. In later years, his ham license was a credential for him when he became employed as an engineer at a local TV station. While at the TV station, Dick was an audio and electrical technician for the children’s show, “Romper Room,” including filling in one day as the role of the “bee.” He was always ready to take on any task or challenge that came up. Dick was the one who climbed several hundred feet up the broadcast tower of the TV station to install a lighted cross for a Christmas display. He was also the one who climbed up again in February to take it back down. Ironically, when Dick moved on from that job, the display remained in place for many years, and no one ever climbed up again to install or remove it.
Early on, Dick’s interest in the growing technical aspects of communication led him to pursue a Physics Degree at the University of Illinois (1962). He had a long career as an engineer of computer hardware and software, often being in charge of large projects. One of Dick’s most proudest career moments was being called in as a special consultant and troubleshooter for NASA for the design systems for the lunar launches. Dick and family moved to Acton, Massachusetts back in the 70’s to become a VP at Digital Equipment Corporation. He loved working in the historic Old Mill in Maynard, MA and enjoyed many years there. Later in life, he became a Software Engineer during the inception of the .com boom.
Family was of utmost importance to Dick. He thoroughly enjoyed family holidays and gatherings. Dick was an avid card player and enjoyed playing with friends and family, and eventually teaching any grandchild who was eager. He was very proud of each of his children and grandchildren’s accomplishments and just loved watching them grow and learn. Dick’s dedication to his children was never-ending, including taking himself to the community college for water safety and lifesaving lessons when he realized his young children loved the water. His grandchildren all became avid swimmers as well, and he loved watching them splash and enjoy themselves in the family pool. Dick even attempted a few handsprings (with change and all kinds of items flying out of his pockets) when his daughter Jennifer was into gymnastics.
Dick was an amazing mathematician and was always eager to give a tutorial to his children or grandchildren. He loved to “do math” with the grandkids using cards, chips, change, or any trinket items. His daughter Heather has fond memories of a yellow cup full of coins, and learning how to add and make change while Dick was shaving in the mornings.
Dick spent many years coaching soccer and baseball teams for his son Christopher, and even became a certified Baseball Umpire. He was a firm believer that winning took second place over everyone being included, having an opportunity to learn all positions of the game (not just the ones they were good at), and most importantly, having fun. He was actively involved in both the Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS) and Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), even beyond his children’s sports careers.
No services are planned at this time. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family is requesting donations be sent to CareDimensions.org.
Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com